Leeds driver knocked down cyclist during police chase

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A MAN who knocked down a cyclist as he drove like a “lunatic”in the wrong lane of a dual carriageway during a police pursuit has been sent to prison.

Shane Dunwell also drove on the pavement during the chase as he tried to outrun officers in his girlfriend’s car.

A court heard police abandoned the chase after Dunwell, 23, knocked a cyclist off his bike and left him screaming in pain.

A judge who jailed Dunwell for ten months told him it was only “good fortune” that the cyclist or pedestrians were not killed.

Dunwell took his girlfriend’s car without permission while she was asleep so he could pick up a control pad for his gaming machine from his friend’s house. David Lampitt, prosecuting, said officers spotted Dunwell driving the Fiesta on Sholebroke Street, Chapeltown, at 7.20pm on October 19 this year.

Dunwell then drove off at high speed in a bid to get away from the officers. During an eight-minute pursuit Dunwell mounted the pavement to get round bollards which blocked his path when he entered a cul-de-sac. He then drove along Scott Hall Road in the wrong direction. Officers abandoned the pursuit after they came across a cyclist on the ground screaming in pain holding his right shoulder.

The 46-year-old cyclist told the officers he had been struck by the Dunwell’s car. Mr Lampitt said Dunwell was lucky to avoid being seriously injured.

Officers arrested the father-of-two later that day at the home he shared with his partner in the Allerton Grange area of Leeds.

His partner admitted to police that she had come home from work and fallen asleep and Dunwell had taken the car without asking.

Dunwell, now of Dewsbury Road, Beeston, Leeds, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking.

The court heard he has previous convictions for driving offences. Anthony Sugare, mitigating, said: “He accepts that what he did was totally wrong.”

Mr Sugare said Dunwell was sorry for what he had done and had contacted the cyclist to apologise.”

Judge Neil Clark said: “It is frankly lunatic driving of the worst possible kind. In fact I can’t imagine anything worse.

“This is a serious offence of its kind.”